<An up-to-date listing of what’s on in North America’s 4th largest city, and where to find it>

– July 27-30 – Beaches Jazz Festival, parks and streets in the Beach neighbourhood, for details and directions go to http://www.beachesjazz.com
– July 27 – September 3 – ‘Beautiful – the Carole King Musical’, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– July 28-30 – The Drowsy Chaperone, Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Avenue, http://www.nostringstheatre.com
– July 29 – Alohafest Toronto, Polynesian culture at Mel Lastman Square, 11am-7pm, free, http://www.fb.com/AlohafestToronto
– July 30 – Kensington Market Pedestrian Sunday, music, street theatre, indie vendors, carless streets, Kensington Market, noon-7pm, free, for performers who want to be part of the show go to http://www.pskensington@gmail.com
– August 3-13 – Summer Works Performance Festival, 11 days of theatre, music, dance and live art, http://www.summerworks.ca
– Until August 5 – Toronto Summer Music Festival, Walter Hall, for info & tickets http://www.torontosummerfestival.com
– Until August 5 – Toronto Caribbean Carnival, 50th year, various venues, http://www.torontocaribbeancarnival.com
– Until August 20 – Hogtown: The Immersive Experience, Prohibition-era Toronto in drama, music and dance, Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen St. West, http://www.hogtownexperience.com
– Until August 27 – The Wizard of Oz, Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Avenue, http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.com
– Until August 27 – Stratford Summer Music, 120 events over 6 weeks, Stratford, Ontario, http://www.stratfordsummer music.ca
– Ongoing – Guys and Dolls, Stratford Festival Theatre, Stratford, http://www.stratfordfesival.ca
– Ongoing – Me And My Girl, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, http://www.shawfest.com
– Ongoing – Friday Night Jazz at the Aquarium, second Friday of every month, included with general admission, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Rd, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada

– July 27 – August 9 – Confederation Part I, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– July 27 ongoing – Scandal and Rebellion, Confederation Part II, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– July 27 ongoing – King Lear & Twelfth Night, 35th year of Shakespeare in High Park, free, for details http://www.canadianstage.com
– July 27 – August 5 – Vimy, Canadian soldiers in a hospital after WWI, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– July 26 – August 20 – Hogtown: The Immersive Experience, Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen St. West, http://www.hogtownexperience.com
– Ongoing – The Madness of George III, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, http://www.shawfest.com
– July 27 ongoing – Billy Bishop Goes To War, a Canadian classic, with Eric Peterson, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– Ongoing – Everything Is Great Again, American politics, Second City, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
– Ongoing – Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, excellent theatre, beautiful town, 80 miles southeast of Toronto, for schedule http://www.shawfest.com
– Ongoing – Stratford Festival, 90 miles west of Toronto, excellent theatre, beautiful city, for schedule http://www.stratfordfestival.ca

– Until July 30 – Georgia O’Keeffe, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– Until August 13 – Suzy Lake, Scotiabank Photography Award winner, Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould Street, free admission, http://www.ryerson.ca/ric
– Until August 28 – Chromatic Geography: Natural Dyes (Textiles), Craft Ontario Gallery, 990 Queen Street West, http://www.craftontario.com
– Until September 9 – Ydessa Hendeles Retrospective, the exhibits Ms. Hendeles mounted at her much-loved Art Foundation, The Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, http://www.thepowerplant.org
– Until October 2017 – Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels, Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, http://www.batashoemuseum.ca
– Ongoing – Syria: A Living History, exhibition, symposium, lectures, performances, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, http://www.agakhanmuseum,org
– Ongoing – ‘Out of the Depths, The Blue Whale Story’, from the deep a giant emerges, Royal Ontario Museum, tickets at http://www.rom.ca
– Ongoing – The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 216 Main Street in historic Unionville/Markham, http://www.varleygallery.ca
– Ongoing – Art Gallery of Mississauga, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, http://www.artgalleryofmississauga.com
– Ongoing – Group of Seven Guitar Project, 7 renowned guitar makers, inspired by 7 iconic artists, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10,365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, http://www.mcmichael.com
– Ongoing – Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Exhibit, Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge Street, http://www.hhof.com
– The Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, leading public gallery devoted to contemporary visual art, http://www.thepowerplant.org
– Ongoing – Black Creek Pioneer Village, the way life used to be, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, 416-736-1733, http://www.blackcreek.ca

– Until July 31 – Director’s Choice, group show, Christopher Cutts Gallery, 21 Morrow Avenue, http://www.cuttsgallery.com
– Until August 17 – That’s So Gay + 10×10 Photography Project group shows, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, http://www.gladstonehotel.com
– Until August 26 – Mark Jenkins and David Spriggs, Arsenal Gallery, 45 Ernest Avenue

GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered, queer, etc.)
– Ongoing – Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps individuals in countries where being LGBTQ is an invite to violence, imprisonment or death, http://www.rainbowrailroad.ca
– Ongoing – ProudFM 103.9, Toronto’s LGBTQ radio station, http://www.proudfm.com
– Ongoing – Legit, second Thursday of every month, legal counsel for same-sex couples immigrating to Canada, 519 Community Centre, 519 Church Street, http://www.legit.ca
– Ongoing – Get Out! Running Group, every Sunday, people of all ages and experience levels, 10-11:30am, Fuel Plus 471 Church Street, free, http://www.getoutcanada.com
– Ongoing – Glad Day Bookshop & Cafe, since 1970, oldest LGBTQ bookshop in the Americas, 499 Church Street, licenced, coffee bar, warm welcome, http://www.gladdaybookshop.com
– Ongoing – Out and Out LGBTQ outdoors club, http://www.outandout.ca
– Ongoing – Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps of Toronto (ROTC), colour guard, band, drum corps, baton, dance, http://www.rotctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), 115 Simpson Avenue at Howard Street, http://www.mcctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Xtra magazine, gay community news in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, http://www.xtra.ca/toronto.aspx
– Ongoing – The Pink Pages, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, leather, queer directory for Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton and Niagara/St. Catharines, http://thepinkpagesdirectory.com
Ongoing – (CLGA) Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, second largest in the world, research centre, art gallery, 34 Isabella Street, http://www.clga.ca

– Ongoing – TAPto free walking tours by Toronto Greeters, book online at http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e14d3a2f287c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
July 27 – Living Ritual: International Indigenous Performing Arts Festival, talks, workshops, performances, Harbourfront Centre, http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com
– July 28-30 – Toronto Festival of Beer, concerts and beer fest, Exhibition Place, Bandshell Park, 210 Princes’ Blvd., http://www/beerfestival.ca
– July 30 – annual Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show, Trinity Bellwoods Park, free, http://www.torvbs.wordpress.com
– Until August 20 – Christie Pits Film Festival, bring a blanket, movies under the stars, approx. 9pm, pwyc, Christie Pits, 750 Bloor Street West, http://www.christiepitsff.com
– Until August 29 – Open Roof Festival, indie films and music, Tuesdays at 7pm, 99 Sudbury Street, http://www.openrooffestival.com
Until December 31 – To Canada With Love, Toronto’s cultural events celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, various venues, http://www.toronto.ca/canada150
Ongoing – Free Arts in the Parks, concerts, films and arts of all kinds, for full events listings and details go to http://www.artsintheparksto.org
– Mount Pleasant Cinema, 675 Mount Pleasant Road, big screen, 2nd run features, some European films, etc., https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/mount-pleasant
– Carlton Cinemas, 9 screens, fully licensed, $5 Tuesdays, 20 Carlton Street, http://www.rainbowcinemas.ca
– Market Square Cinemas, 80 Front Street East, several screens, https://imaginecinemas.com/cinema/market-square/
– Regent Cinema, 551 Mount Pleasant Road, 2nd run features, big screen, https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/regent
– TIFF Bell Lightbox, 5 cinemas, movies that don’t play in the multiplex, for times and schedule go to http://www.tiff.net/whats-on
– Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, specializing in documentaries and films seldom shown in the multiplex, 506 Bloor Street West, http://www.bloorcinema.com
– Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, neighbourhood cinema, second-run, docmentary & foreign features, http://www.revuecinema.ca
– Royal Cinema, documentaries, festivals, foreign, second-run features, 608 College Street, http://www.theroyal.to
– Ontario Science Center Omnimax,770 Don Mills Road, https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/imax
– Scotiabank Toronto Imax, 259 Richmond Street West, http://www.imax.com/theatres/scotiabank-toronto-imax
– Ongoing – ride the ferry to Ward’s Island & have lunch at the Rectory Cafe (only open restaurant on the Islands), 101 Lakeshore Avenue, 416-203-2152, http://www.therectorycafe.com
– Ongoing – Edgewalk, CN Tower, walk around the edge of our tallest free-standing structure, http://www.edgewalkcntower.ca
– Ongoing – Sunday Antique Market, free, Jarvis Street south of King
Ongoing – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Boulevard, at the bottom of the CN Tower, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada

TORONTO SAVVY is now on the UK-based website ‘Walked Thru’ – http://www.walkedthru.com

Summer in the city – and TORONTO keeps the young folks busy

Driving is the new smoking. A study by the Leicester Biomedical Research Centre has found that spending a lot of time behind the wheel reduces your intelligence, which keeps dropping the longer you drive.

Researchers analysed the lifestyles of more than 500,000 Britons, 37-73 over five years during which time they took intelligence and memory tests. Those who drove more than 2 or 3 hours a day typically had lower brainpower from the start, which kept on declining throughout at a faster rate than those who did little or no driving.

Watching TV a lot got the same result. Not so with computers. They apparently had a stimulating effect on the brain.

Our man in OTTAWA, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, makes the cover yet again of a popular magazine. “Justin Trudeau is trying to Make Canada Great Again. He is using, let us say, different methods.” – Stephen Rodrick/Rolling Stone

For a lengthy impression of Canada’s #1 ambassador and possibly “the free world’s best hope” read ‘Justin Trudeau: The North Star’. It’s in this month’s Rolling Stone.


<MARKHAM’s Cathedraltown gives a thumbs down to donated cow sculpture – Tim Kelly/Metroland>

Residents of CATHEDRALTOWN (a MARKHAM suburb) have something else to look at these daysbesides the cathedral. It’s a chrome statue of a cow titled “Charity, Perpetuation of Perfection”, put there with the approval of city councillor Alan Ho – who is now facing the wrath of the populace. They want it gone ASAP.

“The last thing that would cross my mind would be to raise a life-sized cow with chrome-like finish two storeys in the air and consider that proper,” said local resident Danny Dasilva. “I hate it.”

Torontonians must be relieved it’s not in TORONTO.


These folks were aligned along the edge of a wetland. Birdwatchers all, they were focused on a Tricoloured Heron, highly unusual in these parts. Its normal range is the southeastern part of the United States, and they seldom fly this far north.

<ABOVE – Tricoloured Heron, ANDY JOHNSON, ‘All About Birds’>

The LESLIE STREET SPIT is open to joggers, walkers and bikers every evening from 4:00 to 9pm, and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Statutory Holidays. It’s closed Monday to Friday from 5:30am to 4:00pm.

The Leslie Street Spit, TORONTO’s ‘artificial-natural’ habitat, extends far out into Lake Ontario at the foot of Leslie Street.  It’s  getting bigger every day.  The Spit was created largely from construction excavations, and is now home to numerous wild animals, birds and butterflies.


In the midst of a housing shortage after World War II, E.P. Taylor <PHOTO ABOVE>, a powerful businessman, bought two thousand acres of farmland.

From 1995 to 1965 Taylor’s companies changed that farmland into one of the world’s most innovative “New Towns”.

Within the community – 28,000 residents, over 70 industries, one of Canada’s earliest shopping centres, schools and recreation facilities.

DON MILLS was the first land development of its kind to be planned and funded by the private sector. Neighbourhoods were isolated from heavy traffic by looping roads and culs-de-sac. Light industry was allowed on the edges. Attention was paid to everything from the buildings, their exteriors and colours. Generous green space was provided.

Much of residential DON MILLS remains as it was built. The trees have grown taller, but the houses still have that 1950-60’s Modernist look.


<Gertrude Stein by Picabia, 1933>

I wonder if Ms. Stein (1874-1946, novelist, poet, playwright) would say the same thing about the Shops at DON MILLS situated in the suburban vastness of TORONTO’s North York. Developer Cadillac-Fairview replaced a standard shopping mall here with a town centre laid out around a central square with art by Douglas Coupland. Not your typical shopping centre in these parts.

Don Mills town centre is home to 72 top-of-the-line shops, restaurants, pubs, a cinema, chocolate shop, coffee bars – and amazingly FREE parking. The streets are spotlessly clean, but the Parisian funkiness Gertrude Stein loved so much is nowhere in sight.

Year ‘round Aggie Hogg Gardens – named after a former resident, storekeeper, postmaster and the daughter of early settler John Hogg – is the centre of the Centre.

To reach Don Mills by public transit take the #54 Lawrence A or B bus eastbound from Eglinton station to The Donway. It takes about an hour.


The Republicans have rejected Donald Trump’s plan to slash funding for the Great Lakes cleanup. The US President’s plan was to slash the budget of the Great Lakes Restoration initiative from $300-million to $0.

Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, all Great Lakes states, as well as a bipartisan group of 63 House members believe Trump’s proposal would “reverse years of progress” and “jeopardize the environmental and economic health of the region.”

JEFF ROCK, a scientist, has been appointed the next senior pastor at TORONTO’s Metropolitan Community Church. He will succeed Rev. Dr. BRENT HAWKES who is retiring after 38 years with MCC.

Pastor Rock: “I look at myself as a 33-year-old young gay man in ministry and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without people like Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes. I think that there are deep conversations that need to happen in TORONTO about class, and about housing costs and poverty.”

The CN Tower, TORONTO’s #1 tourist attraction, now has a new mascot. It’s a miniature version of the tower itself – only with arms.

Over the past two years TORONTO-based Cyberworks Robotics & the University of Toronto have developed a cost-efficient technology that will allow power wheelchairs to drive themselves. The concept was originally intended for users with upper-body-disabilities such as hand tremors, ALS, and spinal cord injuries. These new wheelchairs could dramatically enhance quality of life, and make it much easier to accomplish everyday things.

Cyberworks is currently in the process of getting necessary approvals to allow wheelchair users to test the technology, and eventually making it useable outdoors.

In case Ontario’s premier KATHLEEN WYNNE & her government sticks it to TORONTO again, Mayor JOHN TORY wants a piece of the ‘pot pie’ when weed is legalized next summer. <PHOTO – Premier Wynne and Mayor Tory>

In a letter Mr. Tory has asked her to hammer out an agreement to share any tax revenue generated by legal pot sales. “The bottom line is there are going to be costs, especially when it comes to things like policing and zoning law enforcement. I’m simply saying, make sure you don’t keep it all, make sure you send some of it to us,” he said. “We will be the ones that will be bearing the financial burden of increased enforcement costs.”

The University of TORONTO maintains its reputation as an elite institution in the UK-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2018. QS placed U of T as the best in Canada and 31st globally, ranking higher than Montreal’s McGill & UBC in Vancouver.

According to Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2017, U of T has the 24th best reputation in the world.

Aluminum cladding is being removed from a heritage building on the northwest corner of Yonge and Queen. Built in 1895, the Jamieson Building was home to a Woolworth’s for decades, and until lately an outdoor gear shop. A new development will add three storeys and a rooftop restaurant. Restoration by ERA Achitects.

A 6-foot TORONTO sign, made from washed-up driftwood has appeared on the water in Humber Bay Park, the work of artists Thelia Sanders-Shelton and Julie Ryan.

Making the sign was a challenge. The duo spent five days on their project, up to seven hours at a time, collecting driftwood and lugging rocks. Julie Ryan said they put a heart at the end of the sculpture to celebrate TORONTO as “a city of love. It’s a place of goodness and kindness.”


From the CTV News collection in the City of TORONTO Archives – the Evergreen Sikorsky Skycrane puts on the last piece of the 39-section broadcast antenna atop the incomplete CN Tower – April 2/1975.  The helicopter’s official model number was N6962R – known locally as ‘Olga’.


The quote is from (1st) CEO Thomas Ranald (Ran) Ide, in his bedroom on September 27, 1970 waiting for his ‘baby’ to appear on a television screen. The ‘baby’ was Canada’s first educational television channel (ETVO) that Mr. Ide had paintakingly guided to that Sunday afternoon 47 years ago.

Television critic PATRICK SCOTT wrote “The result starting at 2pm, and running flawlessly for three-and-a-quarter hours was a triumphant Day One for the great experiment expected to revolutionize both television and education in Ontario!”

And revolutionize it, TVOntario (originally ETVO) did and continues to do.

Looking back nearly a half-century there’s so much TVO visual and print material available a short summary is impossible. But here are a few highlights from this great, non-commerical cultural institution, TORONTO-based, funded by the provincial government and donations from business and the public. It’s still lookin’ pretty fine.

<‘The Polka Dot Door’, based on the BBC series ‘Play School’ ran for several decades.  Polkaroo (the tall one above) became the network’s mascot.>

<Comedian MARTIN SHORT starred on ‘Behind The Fridge’, a half-hour Friday night show with a weird title.>

<Canada’s former Secretary of State JUDY LAMARSH had her own hour-long live talk show, Sunday Nights>

<‘Today’s Special’ above and ‘Telefrancais’ below, a series starring a pineapple.   There were puppets eveywhere.  From the very beginning TVOntario specialized in quality children’s television and continues to do so.  Countless numbers of these shows were sold at home and abroad.>

<‘Saturday Night at the Movies’ and ‘Magic Shadows’, hosted by the inimitable ELWY YOST, were ratings winners for decades.  Mr. Yost – who loved everything about Hollywood – became a top TVO personality.  Annually he filmed interviews in Los Angeles, and TVO donated these priceless conversations to the Motion Picture Academy of  Arts and Sciences.>

<Rainer Schwartz of “Night Music”, on-air every weeknight, played the latest music dj style and interviewed those who created it.  You might say Rainer was running his own music channel.>

TVO programming has been sold to most Canadian provinces, a number of American states and several European countries. The broadcaster has accumulated a goodly stash of awards.

Today, children’s programming remains #1, but there’s a generous helping of documentaries, feature films, public affairs, technology (and a whole department) focused on education and all that entails.  No commercial breaks either.

For information on TVOntario, its history and today’s programming, go to their website – http://www.tvo.org

TVOntario’s province-wide coverage – ONTARIO occupies an area of 415,000 square miles (or 1 million square kilometres), population 12 million.  By comparison, TEXAS (area 269,000 square miles or 696,000 square kilometres), population 27 million. To drive from east to west in the province takes the better part of two days.

The late T. RAN IDE, TVOntario’s first CEO, published this book in 1995 about the network’s earliest days.  ‘The Transparent Blackboard” contains several rare photographs and provides all you’d want to know about this Ontario television success story.  It’s available on Amazon.